What I Learned About Social Sharing on my Summer Vacation

Services for Real Estate Pros with Avanti Creative Group Inc.

We just returned from our one-and-only family vacation for the year (we’re saving our nickels to buy a home next year). We spent a week visiting extended family and had so much fun seeing people we haven’t seen or connected with in quite awhile. One of my favorite parts of trips like this one is getting to catch up with family members I don’t often speak to – I’m notoriously bad at keeping in touch with them regularly.

But there was one common thread that kept shocking me as I spoke to each one: that their lives as portrayed on social media are quite different than their real lives. These are family members that I love and I found myself often saying “Oh really! That’s awful! I had no idea you were going through that.”

What we’re seeing online is largely the highlight reel. When I got to sit down and talk to family I hadn’t seen in awhile I learned that there’s much more – mostly serious – stuff going on than they’re certainly not sharing on social. Not that we need to or should be sharing everything on social but isn’t the point of social media to enhance and deepen connections to others? How connected can we really be if we are being totally superficial?

As it relates to our businesses, it made me think of a few things.

As modern marketers, we want to create deeper connections with our networks; and not only by using social media. So, here are three tips we can all use to better connect with our networks and enable them to better know, like, and trust us. We will increase our impact as people see that, just like them, we are human too:

1. Pick up the phone and talk to people.

Yes, between all of our social media platforms we follow, comment, and ‘like’, hundreds of friends, family members, and business contacts. We see candid photos, watch cute videos they make; but at the end of the day, for those we value remaining connected to, there’s just no substitute for picking up the phone – or video chatting – to stay authentically connected. I know, it sounds so old-fashioned, but I’m setting a goal of doing this more myself. Start by scheduling an hour in your calendar to meet in person or call folks that are on your mind.

2. Let your audience see behind-the-scenes.

Sharing some behind the scenes content – video, photos, stories – allows people to connect with our humanity. One gal I follow on Instagram is a frequent speaker and she posts Insta-stories about all the crazy stuff that happens to her and/or her clothes backstage before she goes on stage. It’s usually of the baby poop/spit-up variety. She’s hysterical and makes fun of it all. Sharing this way allows her audience to connect with her more deeply because we see ourselves in her and it helps us to better know, like, and trust her. Yes, there is a fine line between sharing and griping but it’s okay to be human and show your humanity.

3. Use social media to show your sense of humor, even if it’s self deprecating.

We all know that social media is a more informal platform and one where we can let our hair down a little. So, I’d encourage you to have a little fun with your posts occasionally, in your own unique way. Think of some ways that you make others laugh or share some stories from your work day that made you laugh.

And just so you know, I’m writing this post as much for myself as I am for you. I’m totally guilty of pretending that I have it all together, but I don’t. Managing a family and a business if fraught with messiness, so let’s just stop pretending we have it all together and share in our challenges together. We can make it fun and we’ll all feel more connected to actual, real people.


I love helping women in real estate, mortgage, and professional service businesses, grow their networks and remain top-of-mind, while building a business that reflects their true character. I offer done-for-you servicescoaching/mentoring, and courses (beginning Fall 2018). You can learn more and find other helpful articles about marketing your business at my website.

**If you’d like to receive weekly helpful marketing advice click here.**



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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Melissa- I was concerned that your post was going to be about being robbed while you were out of town. Glad you weren't. You make an excellent point. What we see in social media is exactly what people want us to see. So you're right...we can never fully know what's going on in someone's personal life. Love your tips for connecting in our networks!

Jul 11, 2018 06:38 PM #1
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224


                                  Thank you, Melissa. 

Jul 14, 2018 04:35 PM #2
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Melissa. I think you point is well made and the analogy is important too.

Jul 15, 2018 05:01 AM #3
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Melissa M. Kellogg,

I'm so glad that Kathy Streib featured your post in her "Ah-ha" moments for the week! You are so right..the behind the scenes peek is so important when posting on social media..the humorous side of things makes you more real. Thank you for some excellent pointers!

Jul 15, 2018 05:58 AM #4
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Agree, those facades of perfection are not really designed to build a deep connection. :) Thanks for your suggestiongs Melissa. D 

Jul 15, 2018 07:27 AM #5
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

First of all a big welcome to the Rain Melissa M. Kellogg ! This is a great post on what we actually see and what we should do on social media. I give a behind the scenes look at my personal life at a page I feature on most of my social media "Sedona-Lifestyle.com" . This way people know who they may be potentially working with. I like #3! I know I need to do more of that. I will take that to heart.

Jul 15, 2018 08:39 AM #6
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Melissa -  personally, I am very sparing with my information on Social media.  I much prefer face to face.

Jul 15, 2018 09:43 AM #7
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I thought maybe somebody was spamming you with porn ransom notes. Glad to see that didn't happen.

For me, I put it all out there in my blog. I don't temper much. If people don't want that much in-your-face, they don't have to read my stuff.

Jul 15, 2018 10:07 AM #8
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Oh absolutely Melissa! Never measure your backstage by someone else's highlight reel!

Jul 15, 2018 01:45 PM #9
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I don't put anything serious that might happen in my life on social media, so I totally expect the things I see there are people's highlights that do not include all they might be doing. Picking up the phone is so important!

Jul 16, 2018 05:43 AM #10
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Melissa

These are great suggestions, especially about the phone. Sharing on social media has to be what you are comfortable with and want the world to know, unless you are very restrictive. Some people are much more open about what they share and with whom.

Not everyone wants to make everything in their lives public...and that's just fine! I'm that way, too!


Jul 16, 2018 08:04 AM #11
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Melissa, absolutely WONDERFUL!! I loved this post, start-to-finish. In light of some very famous people who've taken their own lives, we often don't know what's happening behind the curtain (ala the Wizard!), because we think it's all so PERFECT because that is the public persona that they often choose to show. 

It's deeply saddening. So, yes, show us your true colors, "Warts'n all!"


Jul 16, 2018 06:45 PM #12
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

It's true.  One of my agents has been quite ill and she said to me, "don't put this on facebook" because she didn't want people to know.  It is often the best version of our lives we tend to share.

Jul 16, 2018 07:00 PM #13
Hrisco & Associates
Hrisco & Associates - Roanoke, TX
Roanoke Homes for Sale - Roanoke Neighborhoods

Hello Melissa, your post is so spot on! That’s one of the things I can’t stand about social media, every one, and I’m guilty of it to, has to put on a smiley face, on what their lives are supposed to look like. But as you said, looks can be deceiving. Lot of great nuggets.

Jul 16, 2018 08:22 PM #14
Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Melissa M. Kellogg 
Really learned a lot from your post and from going to your website to read other posts. Thanks for the interesting advice. All the best - Lynn

Jul 16, 2018 08:33 PM #15
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

Hi Melissa M. Kellogg Yes...the highlight reel...although there is an occassional lowlight reel.  I think it has been that way for a long long time...way before social media.

I agree with number 3  suggestion and must add I use this a lot...and some times even intentionally!!

Jul 17, 2018 06:50 AM #16
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I love your post and am happy Kathy shared it this week!

Jul 18, 2018 07:09 PM #17
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Hi Melissa! A wonderful summation of social media. Myself, I'm an open book and I have had many instances that my husband said, PLEASE don't share this on FB! I always find it humorous but, I do always respect his wishes.

And, I'm with you, picking up the phone is THE best form of communication if you can't be face-to-face.

Happy Friday!

Jul 20, 2018 06:20 AM #18
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